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Transcript of Draft Systems
the beer traveling from keg to glass must be maintained at a temperature of 34° to 38°F
Most brewers use kegs made of stainless steel, but you also see rubber-coated, aluminum, steel and recently plastic.
When tapped, the keg’s valve admits gas to the head space where it applies the pressure needed to push beer up through the spear or down tube and out of the keg.
Keg sizes vary from approximately 5 to 15.5 gallons.
Gas ﬂows in and beer ﬂows out of a keg through the coupler
When you attach a coupler to a keg to tap it, a probe on the bottom depresses the keg valve (or ball) and allows CO2 to enter the keg and apply pressure to the beer. This forces the beer to travel up the down tube (spear) and drive the beer to the faucet.
Thomas valve – CO2 flows into the keg, but doesn't allow beer to back up into the gas line if the pressure fails
Check valve – When the coupler is disconnected it prevents the beer from flowing out the beer line
Pressure release valve - prevents excessive gas pressure build-up on the keg
Most U.S. breweries use the Sankey “D” coupler
Most draught systems use clear vinyl tubing for all or part of the beer line.
In picnic and direct-draw systems, beer often runs most or the entire route from coupler to faucet in vinyl tubing.
In long-draw systems, beer commonly passes through two sections of vinyl hose but travels most of the way in special barrier tubing .
Common faucets are generally suitable for dispensing both ales and lagers
“standard” US faucet is rear-sealing and has vent holes that need to be carefully cleaned and inspected during routine cleanings.
Ventless, or forward-sealing faucets, are easy to clean and are only available in stainless steel.
Stout faucets are used for nitrogenated beers - These faucets use a diaphragm and restrictor plate to “cream” the beer.
Pros and Cons of Various Faucet Designs
Draught systems depend on gas pressure to push beer from the keg to the faucet.
To achieve this, kegs should be pressurized with carbon dioxide, or a carbon dioxide and nitrogen mix.
NEVER! use air compressors.
They expose beer to oxygen, which produces stale paper or cardboard-like aromas and ﬂavors in the beer.
They also push contaminants from the outside air in - causing the beer to spoil.
The gas you use ﬁlls the keg as the beer drains.
Thus, off-ﬂavors or impurities in the gas quickly migrate to the beer to spoil its freshness and ﬂavor.
Direct-draw applications use straight CO2 except for the dispensing of “nitro” beers where an appropriate nitrogen/CO2 mix must be used.
Nitrogen is available in cylinders or can be generated on site.
Gas used for draught dispense should be “beverage grade"
CO2 tanks contain both liquid and gas phases.
The tank pressure is dependent on ambient temperature and, regardless of tank ﬁ ll level, will vary from 600 – 1200 psi until empty.
CO2 tanks should never be located inside the refrigerator or walk-in cooler.
A gas ﬁlter may be installed to help reduce the likelihood that any contaminants in the gas reach the beer.
Often vinyl gas line has greater wall thickness than vinyl beer line.
To help distinguish between gas line and beer line, colored vinyl is used for CO2 supply lines in some systems.
But clear vinyl may be used as it aids in troubleshooting
Braided vinyl is often used for CO2, particularly in high pressure situations (50+ psi) and in long CO2 runs.
Braided vinyl is commonly used in soft drink lines for both beverage and gas.
A regulator adjusts and controls the ﬂow of gas from any source.
Each regulator typically has at least one and often two pressure gauges that help in setting pressures and monitoring gas levels.
Valves and an adjustment screw control the actual ﬂow of gas from source to destination.
All gas systems employ a primary regulator attached to the gas source, namely a portable bottle or bulk tank.
This regulator typically contains two gauges:
one high-pressure showing the tank or supply pressure,
and a second low-, or regulated pressure gauge showing what is being delivered to the keg.
Regulators are attached to the gas bottle with either an integrated “O” ring seal in the face of the regulator ﬁtting, or a ﬁber or Teﬂon ﬂat washer
These need to be replaced frequently and should be checked often
Many regulators are also equipped with one or more shut-off valve located on the low-pressure outlet
A primary regulator must also contain a safety relief valve to prevent dangerous system pressures
Bottled CO2 pressure can exceed 1000 psi
Nitrogen regulators are designed for higher pressures
Pressure gauges used on draught systems measure in pounds-per-square-inch gauge, or “psig.”
Gauge pressure is 14.7 psi less than absolute pressure.
Tailpieces and Connectors
Tail pieces connect couplers, wall bracket, shanks - or any other piece of equipment - to vinyl tubing or other types of beer line.
Chromed brass and stainless steel tail pieces come in several sizes to match common tubing diameters.
They are held in place with a nut and sealing washer.
A clamp secures the tubing to the tailpiece on the barbed side.
A nut and sealing washer attach the tailpiece to the coupler or other equipment on its ﬂat side.
Temporary Draft Dispense Systems
Allow beer to be dispensed for one day events
Not good for long term use
Compromises accepted standards for beer dispensing
Gas pressure comes from compressed air introduced by a hand pump intergrated into the coupler
Do not produce the best serving results as keeping the pressure balance is exptremely difficult
For Best Results
keg kept in ice
consistently but not excessively pumped
single-use CO 2 cartridges with an integrated regulator
a traditional vented faucet mounted on a short length of stainless steel beer line
This design overcomes the key shortcomings of hand-pumped picnic taps.
Improved designs use
an upgrade from the hand pump for portable dispense
a normal coupler is attached to the keg and CO2 is used to pressurize the system.
beer passes through a cold plate or stainless steel tubing inside an ice chest in order to cool it
A cold-plate-equipped jockey box uses ice to cool beer ﬂowing through the cold plate.
A jockey box equipped with stainless steel coils uses ice and water to chill beer ﬂowing through the coil.
Coil-style jockey boxes pour beer at a faster rate than those equipped with a cold plate.
and run beer through the faucet before adding ice to the jockey box.
this removes water left behind during the cleaning process before temperatures in the plate get cold enough to freeze it causing turbulence or blockage of the beer ﬂow
Tap the keg
both underneath and on top of the cold plate
as time passes, the ice will “bridge” and should be removed for better contact with the cold plate
ice should be added periodically and water drained from the ice chest
pressure to 30 to 35 psi
and run beer through the coil and out the faucet.
Tap the keg
use, as draught beer is perishable and room temper-
ice to the ice chest and completely cover
to the ice chest and completely cover the coil.
to the top of the coil
this causes an ice bath giving excellent surface contact.
Add cold water
pressure to 35 to 40 psi on 120 ft. coils
Permanent Draft Dispense Systems
Direct Draw Draught Systems
Long-draw Draught Systems
FOB (Foam On Beer)
FOBs stop the ﬂow of beer through a line once the keg empties
this reduces the beer loss normally associated with changing a keg and therefore reduces operating costs
all feature a ﬂoat in a sealed bowl that drops when beer ﬂow from the keg stops
FOBs should be cleaned every two weeks when the draught system is cleaned and completely disassembled and manually cleaned quarterly to assure a clean system
draw beer from a keg and deliver it to the faucet
rather than using gas pressure to drive beer, beer pumps use mechanical force to propel the beer through the system
found in draught systems when working pressures for gas dispense get too high
this includes very long runs (>200 ft.) or high vertical lifts
Gas blenders mix pure tank CO2 and pure tank nitrogen to a speciﬁed ratio
Can be ordered to speciﬁc ratios and often provide two blends:
Recommended features for a gas blender include:
one for ale/lager
and one for nitrogenated beers
Output mix is preset by the manufacturer and is not adjustable on site
Blender shuts down when either gas supply runs out, preventing damage from running on only one gas
Blender produces two blends so that both “nitro” and regularly carbonated beers can be served
The blend for regularly carbonated beers can adequately serve products with a reasonable range of CO volumes (e.g. 2.2-2.8 volumes of CO).
Nitrogen generators extract nitrogen from the atmosphere
nitrogen generators should have the following features:
Produce nitrogen with a purity of at least 99.7%.
Have air inlets equipped with both an oil/water filter and a sterile air ﬁlter.
Use “oil-free”-type air compressors
For beer runs longer than 25 ft.
A separate chiller pumps cold food-grade liquid propylene glycol through cooling lines parallel to and in contact with the beer lines.
Each beer line touches a glycol line to keep the beer cold as it travels from keg to the faucet.
In a forced-air long-draw system, beer lines travel through a tube or chase kept cold by a continuously operating recirculation fan.
The fan pushes cold air from a condensing unit inside the cooler into and through the ductwork.
Cold air travels a route from the cooler to and through the tap tower as well as a return route back to the cooler.
Push beer from lines with cold water.
Clean lines with caustic solution at 2% or greater concentration for newer, well-maintained lines or 3% concentration for older or problematic lines.
Maintain a solution temperature of 80º - 125ºF.
Caustic solution should be circulated through the lines for 15 minutes at a velocity of 2 gallons per minute for electric pump cleaning or left to stand in the lines for no less than 20 minutes for static cleaning.
Disassemble and hand clean faucets; hand clean couplers.
After cleaning, ﬂush lines with cold water until pH matches that of tap water and no visible debris is being carried from the lines.
Perform draught line cleaning every two weeks
Disassemble and hand clean all FOB-stop devices (a.k.a. beer savers, foam detectors)
Disassemble and hand clean all couplers.
Perform acid cleaning of draught lines as follows:
Quarterly (every three months)
Push beer or caustic cleaner from lines with cold water.
Clean lines with an acid line cleaner mixed to manufacturer’s guidelines. Maintain a solution temperature of 80º - 125ºF.
Circulate the acid solution through the lines for 15 minutes at a velocity of 2 gallons per minute for electric pump cleaning or let stand in the lines for no less than 20 minutes for static cleaning.
After acid cleaning, ﬂ ush lines with cold water until pH matches that of tap water and no visible debris is being carried from the lines.